COVID-19 THE “PLAGUE”: Day 131: YANGON, Myanmar-  Mandalay man likely first patient to recover from COVID-19

.The Government will be housing foreign workers in essential services separately.. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI






BRUNEI-Zero virus cases reported, public reminded not to be complacent

Brunei Darussalam recorded no new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, further flattening the curve.

This was announced by Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at a press conference.

Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, the Ministry of Health (MoH) would like to inform the public that there are no new cases of COVID-19 infection in the country. Therefore, as of now, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Brunei Darussalam remains at 135,” he said.

The minister, however, warned that the COVID-19 outbreak was not over yet.

“We must continue to abide by all the precautionary measures to further reduce the risk of spreading the infection,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said.

He said seven cases at the National Isolation Centre have recovered and were allowed to return home, bringing the total number of recovered cases so far to 73.

“This means 61 cases are still undergoing treatment at the National Isolation Centre. Of the 61, three are still in critical condition and require respiratory assistance at the Intensive Care Unit. One still requires the assistance of a heart-lung machine (ECMO). The rest are in stable condition,” he said.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar speaks at the press conference. PHOTO: AZIZ IDRIS

Meanwhile, 2,065 individuals have completed their quarantine in accordance with the Infectious Diseases Act (Chapter 204), with only 280 still undergoing quarantine.

The minister said, “A total of 113 have completed the self-isolation period at isolation facilities provided by the government, and have been allowed to return home, bringing the total number to 326.

“Since early January 2020, a total of 8,129 laboratory tests for COVID-19 have been conducted, leading to a ratio of one in 54 individuals in the country who have been tested.”

The minister commended all those working hard to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brunei Darussalam.

“Our deepest appreciation for all the efforts and cooperation, whether from government agencies, non-government agencies, volunteer bodies and the public, who have all played a part in ensuring that the measures in curbing the COVID-19 outbreak in Brunei Darussalam are well implemented.”

“As stated many times, although the COVID-19 outbreak in the country is under control, our country is still under threat from the influx of the virus from outside the country. Therefore, we still need to take precautionary measures which include continuing to practise social or physical distancing, maintaining personal hygiene, practising coughing and sneezing ethic, avoiding mass gatherings, minimising visits to business establishments in large numbers, and only leaving the house if necessary.

“We must keep in mind that the risk of transmission is still present, even though it is under control. If we are complacent, the situation can change with the blink of an eye and unwanted events such as a lockdown may occur.”

According to, the breakdown of cases according to districts shows 108 in the Brunei-Muara District, 23 in the Belait District and four in the Tutong District. There are no cases in the Temburong District.

Information and updates are available on the official MoH website at, by contacting the Health Advice Line 148 (operating 24-hours) or through the web application at James Kon







VIENTIANE-Laos confirms new Covid-19 case, total now 11


A foreign national working in Laos has tested positive for Covid-19, taking the total number of cases in the country to 11.

Authorities said the latest positive case was that of a 55-year-old citizen of Papua New Guinea who is an employee of Phu Bia Mining Limited. His sample was among those of 31 people on Saturday.

The man is currently in the intensive care unit at Mittaphab Hospital.

Before the new case was detected, Laos had recorded no new Covid-19 cases for three consecutive days.

The National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control told a daily news briefing on Sunday that the man who tested positive had travelled from Papua New Guinea to Laos via Singapore and Thailand.

After a stopover in Singapore on March 22, he arrived in Laos via Thailand the following day. He stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Vientiane during March 23-24.

The Standing Deputy Head of the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Dr Phouthone Muongpak, said the man then travelled by a company car to Phubia, where he began work on March 25.

Accompanying this infected man on the same vehicle were 11 other people. He also worked and was in close contact with about 100 people, Dr Phouthone added.

The man had fever, coughing, sore throat and headache on April 3. At 10 am on April 4, he went to Mittaphab Hospital for a check-up. His sample was collected and he was found to have been infected by the Coronavirus.

From January to April 4, some 604 people were tested and 11 were found to be infected.

Authorities also looked into the cases of 89 people who were in close contact with infected people on Saturday, and they tracked 127 people for for 14 days.

On the same day, samples were collected from 47 Lao workers who had returned from Thailand and three suspected cases were reported.

Authorities said they are taking extensive steps to trace everyone who was in contact with citizen of Papua New Guinea. A team has been sent to Phubia to investigate and  gather information about those who were in close contact with him.

Information is also being gathered about those who were in the flight from Thailand from Laos, at the Crowne Plaza  Hotel for the two nights when the man stayed there, the 11 people who were in the corporation’s van that took the man from the hotel to the company, and about 100 colleagues who work closely with him.

In addition, authorities are sanitising the van, and the man’s work place and accommodation.

As of April 5, the Coronavirus has spread to 205 countries and there are more than one million confirmed cases around the world. The virus has claimed 64,288 lives. More than 246,258 people have recovered . by Khonesavanh Latsaphao/ Latest Update April 05, 2020) [06:30 PM




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KUALA LUMPUR-  Covid-19 cases in Malaysia still at a plateau: Noor

Covid-19 cases in Malaysia still at a plateau: Noor Hisham

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry does not regard the daily increase of Covid-19 cases in the country as a sharp rise.

Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pix) said the new cases reported daily were due to active case detection being carried out in areas under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

“I would say there is a spike only if there are suddenly 1,000 or 2,000 cases a day in Malaysia.

“So far so good. The data is still at a plateau, no sudden surge,” he told a daily press briefing on Covid-19 at the ministry, here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said an example of a sudden surge would be like in the United States where 25,000 positive Covid-19 cases were reported in one day.

“How can Malaysia handle 25,000 cases? Our hospitals won’t have enough space. This is the problem when there is a sudden surge in cases,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham said at the moment the detection of new cases in Malaysia was at a rate of 7 to 8% of the total number of confirmation tests conducted.

Malaysia’s approach to curbing the spread of Covid-19 was to implement the Movement Control Order to stem local transmission, ensure that those entering the country are quarantined and intensify active case detection.

On the tabligh group, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry is aware that some of the people who attended the assembly at Masjid Sri Petaling from Feb 27 to March 1 were now probably overseas such as in Sulawesi, India and Pakistan.

“When they are back we (Health Ministry) need collaboration from the police and Immigration Department so that they can come forward for testing and avoid infecting others,” he added.

So far 17,012 samples have been taken from the Sri Petaling cluster, with 1,591 testing positive and 10,912 negative while the results for 4,500 are still pending. – Bernama


YANGON, Myanmar-  Mandalay man likely first patient to recover from COVID-19


The 33-year-old COVID-19 patient from Mandalay is likely to be the first to recover from the deadly disease in the country, after a recent test showed he is already negative for the virus, the Health Ministry said on April 5.

The Myanmar man, who is an American citizen, was the fourth among the 21 people found suffering from the disease since the first two cases was detected on March 23.

The patient, who returned from the US on March 19, is residing in Chan Mya Tharsi Township, sought treatment at Kandawnadi Hospital on March 25 and was immediately considered a patient under investigation.

His swab sample was sent to the National Health Laboratory on March 27 and tested positive for the disease. He is now quarantined at Kandaw Nadi Hospital.

“The first test result (after the treatment) of case 4 was negative,” U Thar Tun Kyaw, director-general and permanent secretary of the Health Ministry told The Myanmar Times.

“If patient is negative when we test him second time, he will be the first recovered patient against COVID-19 in Myanmar.  And he will also be the first patient who can discharge from hospital,”

“Second testing will test 48 hours of the first testing,” he added.

According to the World Health Organization’s preliminary data, the average time from the onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately two weeks and between three and six weeks for patients with severe or critical disease.

Despite the relatively low numbers of COVID-19 patients in the country, the Health Ministry still worries about an upsurge of cases following the tens of thousands of migrants who returned recently from abroad. The country reported its first COVID-19 death on March 31./ AUNG PHAY KYI SOE


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(as of April 5, 2020 – 4:00 PM)
PUIS: 1,441

SINGAPORE- Record 120 new coronavirus cases in Singapore, 2 foreign worker dormitories gazetted as isolation areas

S11 Dormitory @ Punggol (left) and Westlite Toh Guan dormitory have been gazetted as isolation areas. Close to 20,000 workers living there will be quarantined for 14 days.

S11 Dormitory @ Punggol (left) and Westlite Toh Guan dormitory have been gazetted as isolation areas. Close to 20,000 workers living there will be quarantined for 14 days.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH, DESMOND WEE / Lester Wong / Tee Zhuo

SINGAPORE – Two foreign worker dormitories which have seen large numbers of Covid-19 cases have been gazetted as isolation areas to stem transmission of the coronavirus in the community.

This means that around 20,000 workers at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol and Westlite in Toh Guan will be quarantined in their rooms for the next 14 days.

In addition, measures will be taken to lessen interaction of workers in other dormitories. This includes preventing the intermingling of workers between different blocks and floors at dormitories, and staggering meal and recreation times.

The Government will also be housing foreign workers in essential services separately.

The moves come after the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed a record 120 more Covid-19 cases on Sunday (April 5), of which four were imported and 116 local. The local cases include 39 Singapore citizens or permanent residents and 76 long-term work pass holders.

MOH said it does not currently have a breakdown of how many of these new cases are linked to clusters or unlinked. This brings Singapore’s total to 1,309 cases.

Of the new cases, 22 are linked to S11 Dormitory @ Punggol at 2 Seletar North Link. Also known as PPT Lodge 1B, it now has at least 62 confirmed cases.

Another 10 have been linked to Westlite Toh Guan dormitory at 18 Toh Guan Road East, which now has at least 28 confirmed cases.

On the move to designate the two dormitories as isolation areas, Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said: “The key objective is to ensure the health and well-being of everyone, not just of our own people but also foreign workers helping our economy… We want to give foreign workers the assurance that the measures we take are in their interest as well as their well-being.”

Mrs Teo added that the workers will continue to be paid during this period, and that they will still be able to make remittances to their families back in their home countries.

Dormitories have been a growing area of concern in the outbreak, with three of the four new clusters announced on Saturday (April 4) being dormitories – Sungei Tengah Lodge, Toh Guan Dormitory and Cochrane Lodge II.

The Government will be housing foreign workers in essential services separately.. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

On Friday, the Government announced its tightest measures to date to stem the spike in local Covid-19 cases. All workplace premises, other than those in essential services and key economic sectors, will have to close from Tuesday (April 7) to May 4, and all schools will move to full home-based learning.

At Sunday’s press conference, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong also said the Singapore Expo is being prepared as a community isolation facility for patients with milder symptoms.

The Expo will be the second such facility here after D’Resort NTUC in Pasir Ris.


National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force battling the coronavirus, said there are now two separate strategies for tackling the spread of local cases – one for dormitories and one for the wider community.

“From Tuesday onward, the circuit breaker (measures) kicks in. All of the foreign workers, on top of those that are in the two foreign worker dormitories that will be designated as isolation areas, all of the foreign workers will have to stay within their dormitories and will not be able to move out,” he said.

Mr Wong said people have been asking since Friday’s announcement what counts as an essential service and what activities are still allowed once the measures kick in.

“We are responding to all the businesses that are asking questions, but the points should be very clear. If your business is not in the list of essential services, then, you either have to telecommute 100 per cent or you stop work altogether,” he said.

“There are no two ways about this, it’s straightforward. Likewise for individuals, the rules are very clear. You stay home, do not go out, go out only for essential activities… other than that, you have to stay home.”


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BANGKOK- Thailand logs 51 new coronavirus cases, 3 deaths Monday

A police officer checks the temperature of a motorcyclist in Bangkok's Prawet district on Saturday. (Bangkok Post photo)

A police officer checks the temperature of a motorcyclist in Bangkok’s Prawet district on Saturday. (Bangkok Post photo)


Thailand has recorded 51 new confirmed coronavirus cases — including 13 health workers — and three additional deaths on Monday, a health official said.

Total confirmed infections in the country now stand at 2,220, with the cumulative death toll at 26.

The number of confirmed new cases was exactly half the 102 reported on Sunday, and the lowest number of new cases since March 20. With limited testing, it is impossible to say how fast and how widely the novel coronavirus is actually spreading.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said the 24th death was a Thai man aged 28 who was an employee at a company in Bangkok. A colleague of his wife had earlier tested positive for the disease.

The man fell sick on March 27 with a fever, cough and sore throat. He first visited a private hospital in Bangkok and then moved to another hospital in Samut Prakan province.

On Saturday his fever rose to 39.2 degrees Celsius and his blood oxygen saturation plunged. He was moved to a private hospital in Bangkok and died late Saturday night.

The 25th death was a self-employed Thai man aged 51 who suffered from diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The man fell sick on March 28 and went to a private hospital in Bangkok with coughing, headache and muscle pain. He was admitted on April 1 for muscle pain and breathing difficulties.

He was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and tested positive for Covid-2 last Thursday. He died on Saturday.

The 26th death was a 59-year-old female vendor who suffered from diabetes. Dr Taweesin said she gambled at many locations in Bangkok and fell sick on March 29.

She was admitted to a private hospital in Bangkok on April 1 with breathing difficulties, low blood oxygen and severe pneumonia. She tested positive for the disease last Thursday and died on Saturday.

“The last three deaths were of people under 60 years of age and one of them was 28 years old,” the government spokesman said.

Screenshot from

Dr Taweesin warned that people should not feel comfortable with Monday’s lower number of 51 new infections because many suspected new cases are being investigated could be confirmed later.

The 2,220 local cases were reported in 66 provinces. That number includes 793 people who recovered and were discharged from hospitals.

Bangkok recorded the largest number of cases, 1,051, followed by 143 in Nonthaburi, 135 in Phuket, 103 in Samut Prakan, 66 in Chon Buri, 54 in Yala, 46 in Pattani, 37 each in Chiang Mai and Songkhla, and 28 in Pathum Thani.

No Covid-19 cases were reported in the 11 provinces of Ang Thong, Bung Kan, Chai Nat, Kamphaeng Phet, Nan, Phangnga, Phichit, Ranong, Satun, Singburi and Trat.

The 51 new cases included 22 people in close contact with previous patients, 13 health workers (11 at private hospitals), three attendees of religious ceremonies, three people who worked in crowded areas or in close promixity to foreigners, one returnee, one foreign visitor and one in close contact with arrivals from overseas. Seven cases were under investigation.

Koh Samui lockdown from Tuesday

Koh Samui will impose a ban on people entering the resort island from Tuesday until the end of the month, as it joins the nationwide campaign to bring down the number of new coronavirus infections.


Virus world update

Daily death toll from coronavirus declines in some global hotspots, but Japan set for emergency as global cases near 1.3 million, deaths top 69,000.


HA NOI, Viet Nam-  No new cases of COVID-19 reported for second successive morning

People who were previously in quarantine head home from a centre in Hà Nội’s Hoàng Mai District on Sunday afternoon after being given the all-clear. — VNA/VNS Photo


HÀ NỘI — For the second morning in a row, no new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Việt Nam.

The National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced on Monday morning there were zero infections reported overnight.

This is only the second time the country has been able to record no cases in its daily update since March 6.

The results are polar opposites from those released last month. On March 22, 19 people tested positive for the disease, the highest amount detected on one day.

One new case was reported on Sunday evening but the patient, a Vietnamese student who had been studying in the UK, was immediately quarantined on his arrival.

So far, the amount of people nationwide carrying the virus remains at 241. Of those, 149 are Vietnamese nationals who have returned home from overseas and 61 cases are connected to the Bạch Mai hospital in Hà Nội.

There are 67,273 people currently in quarantine. Among these, 1,277 people are being monitored at hospitals, 23,922 people are quarantined at centres or other establishments and 42,004 are self-quarantined at home.

Among 150 patients are under treatment at 21 health facilities, 29 ones have negative results for the first time while 23 others have negative results for the second time.

A 64-year-old woman who was in a serious condition after catching the virus, is also showing signs of recovery.

According to the Ministry of Health, 91 people who were carrying the virus have made a full recovery. — VNS


DILI, Leste Timor- 


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